With few days to the March 18 Governorship and House of Assembly polls, political parties and their supporters have been urged to shun violence.
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu and the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Moguno, gave the appeal on Tuesday during the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security.
Specifically, Yakubu implored political parties, candidates and their supporters to see the election as a contest, not war.
The Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security meeting gets underway at the INEC HQ, Abuja. The Governorship/State Houses of Assembly elections, scheduled for 18th March is on the agenda.
He wants them to “refrain from acts of violence that may mar the elections or compromise the security of our personnel, observers, the media and service providers.”
“There will also be more candidates involved and more collation centres to protect. They are also local elections involving keen contests. It is therefore important for parties and candidates to speak to their agents and supporters to see the elections as a contest and not war,” he added.
While thanking security agencies for the professionalism of their personnel and the largely peaceful conduct of the presidential election, he said INEC state offices have provided the police with the details for the governorship and state assembly elections, including locations of polling units and collation centres.
There will also be more candidates involved and more collation centres to protect. They are also local elections involving keen contests. It is therefore important for parties and candidates to speak to their agents and supporters to see the elections as a contest and not war.
Unlike the February 25 Presidential and National Polls that held nationwide, the Governorship elections will only hold in 28 States.
Those exempted are eight states – Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Ondo and Osun – because polls are held off-cycle.
To ensure a hitch-free election, INEC in collaboration with security agencies will ensure that the exercise the State elections will involve 1,021 constituencies.